Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 22
Chapter 22: I Want Your Artistry
Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor: Nou
After seeing the man had more or less calmed down, Fang Xing sighed. ’’Don't be so tense. I don't intend to expose you at all and I actually admire your craftsmanship. I mean, look at this sword;it's exactly the same as the real one! And this spirit pill, how did you do it? The color, smell, and my god is that a trace of Qi intertwined with it? It seems more real than the actual stuff!’’
What Fang Xing said was half true, half false;he did indeed admire the craftsmanship required to make the items look exactly like its true counterpart, but the likes of this sword was flawed. The spells confined within it were connected with a unique technique that would grant only a limited amount of use before it was left completely broken and unusable.
Of course, when used for a quick scam it was impeccable.
As for the spirit pill, although it looked, smelled, and felt the same as the real thing, it wouldn't be difficult for someone with mastery in alchemy to distinguish the difference. Even if someone didn't have any knowledge of alchemy, once they broke open the pill they would find the Qi evaporating right in front of their very own eyes.
’’Please don't mock me. I... I was just momentarily lost and confused,’’ the man nervously replied without any idea of what Fang Xing's intentions were.
Fang Xing waved his hands. ’’Lost and confused? Momentarily? Are you sure these forgery skills of yours can be mastered so easily?’’
The man tensed up and was almost in tears as he began to softly plead, ’’Shhh... what exactly is it that you want? It was my bad luck to draw someone like you, so what do you want? Just... just take whatever you need.’’
’’I want... your artistry,’’ Fang Xing sincerely explained. ’’To be quite honest, I had an uncle that was also trained in the art of forgery. He wasn't as good as you, though, and could only forge ordinary things from the mortal world, but when I saw those skills of yours there was an overwhelming sense of familiarity. Please be at ease;not only will I make sure nobody knows about this, I might actually have business dealings with you in the future. You know, there's plenty of money to be made with that technique of yours.’’
’’Uh....’’ Uncertain of whether Fang Xing actually meant what he said, the man was startled out of his words.
’’For exact details, I'll have to go back and organize the entire plan first. Shixiong, please allow me to know your name.’’ Fang Xing humbly asked.
’’What are you after?’’ The man questioned back nervously;no one would ever ask for someone's name at the Black Markets, and it was because of this rule that he had dared to sell these counterfeit items in the first place. As long as nobody was able to see through his tricks on the spot as Fang Xing did no one would know who he was after the market was over. Besides, he would never actually take out the fake stuff right away and would always sell some real items first. He would slowly reveal his counterfeit items one at a time, and only once he had confirmed it was safe to do so.
Thus, Fang Xing asking for his name put him on full alert.
’’Don't be so tense. I'm only asking so I will be able to contact you once I have my details organized,’’ Fang Xing assured.
The man shifted his eyes as he hesitated. ’’In that case, let us not worry about it;Shixiong, you should also know that there are rules in the Black Market. Since you've seen through my tricks, just take your pick of what I have, I do have quite some real stuff here, too. As for my name... I have no intention of expanding my business, and I won't be selling any counterfeit items in the future, either.’’
Fang Xing wasn't worried. Calmly, he smiled and asked again: ’’Are you sure you don't want to give me your name?’’
’’No!’’ the man exclaimed, resolute and decisive.
All of a sudden, Fang Xing stood up and began to yell at the top of his lungs, ’’Oh my! All of this stuff here ’’
The market itself was quiet, and even if someone was to talk, it would be hushed down to almost a whisper. At the sound of Fang Xing's abrupt exclamation, people began to look his way.
The man in front of him was left stupefied by the sound and almost fled the scene then and there, until he heard the remainder of what Fang Xing had to say:
’’ are SO good! It took me so long to finally find this! My dear, dear shixiong, you are my savior! Thank you so much;here, please take this!’’ Fang Xing threw a Spirit Stone towards the man before grabbing a random item from one of the piles. Fang Xing pretended to be excited as he flipped the item in his hands back and forth, sending a meaningful glance towards the man all the while.
’’Pfft, what a country bumpkin! Does he really need to get this excited for an Ansi Pill?’’ One of the passersby cursed low before turning their head away in disinterest.
Ansi Pills were no more than a common medicinal pill that helped improve sleep, allowing the person using it to recover their physical strength at a slightly faster rate.
While most people turned their heads to continue on with their usual business, a guard walked to Fang Xing and quietly spoke to him, ’’Please control your emotions, Shixiong. It is the Black Market, so it's not a very good idea to be so loud.’’
’’Ah, yes, yes, of course. I'm sorry, I just got carried away,’’ Fang Xing hastily apologized.
As soon as the guard left, the man appeared to be on the verge of collapsing, his gaze helpless. ’’What do you want me to do in order to have you off my back?’’
Without speaking a word, Fang Xing looked right back at the man with a meaningful smile.
As if he had finally made his decision, the man passed Fang Xing a woodblock from his pocket.
’’I want the real one!’’ Fang Xing demanded without even touching the offered item.
Underneath the black veil, the man's face grew darker and his lips twitched. A good while later, he finally pulled out another woodblock, and when Fang Xing grabbed it, the man dropped his head down in silence.
'Qing-Yun Sect outer court disciple Hua Qianzhi. Resident of No. XXI B-Block cottage of Heiyan Valley.'
With only a quick check using his Spirit Sense, Fang Xing remembered all of the man's details.
When Fang Xing returned the block, the man spoke without any power in his voice, ’’What exactly is it that you want me to make for you? Can you tell me first?’’
Fang Xing grinned. ’’I'll let you know when I know!’’
After all of this, the man Hua Qianzhi had made up his mind to destroy all of the counterfeit items present and never touch forgery again in case this man decided to blackmail him later.
’’By the way, if you're planning on destroying everything and not forging anymore when you return, I can promise you that your trading of counterfeit items will be the sect's next hottest gossip. Do you really think destroying the evidence will be of any use? Even if there is no solid evidence, what do you think people will do when they just need someone to vent their anger on?’’
Hua Qianzhi finally let out a long sigh and bowed. ’’Then I shall await good news from Shixiong!’’ The man packed up his items as he spoke;he did not want to spend an extra second with this monster, especially if he were to change his mind again.
Just before he was about to leave, however, Fang Xing grinned, ’’Give me back my Spirit Stone....’’
To which Hua gave an angry reply: ’’But that Ansi Pill is real!’’
’’Yes, but everything else isn't.’’
Unable to reason with Fang Xing, Hua handed back the Spirit Stone and left in a hurry with his belongings.
Once Hua had left, Fang Xing continued his stroll around the rest of the market in the hopes of finding a suitable Flying Sword. Fang Xing had never been someone who followed the straight and narrow path, so when he saw through Hua's forgery skills there was something like an instant connection that convinced him to make use of it in some manner.
Although most of the Flying Swords Hua had for sale were real, Fang Xing had found them to be rather substandard. He wanted the best he could find for his current cultivation level.
It didn't take long for Fang Xing to see all that was put out for sale in the market, and while he was walking past the innermost corner, he overheard a conversation:
’’I'll pay seventy Stones for this. This pellet of yours is a rare find, but the quality is only mediocre;my offer is already extremely generous.’’
'Seventy Stones?' With that amount of Spirit Stones offered, this would be the most expensive trade in the market today. Fang Xing unconsciously leaned in closer, 'That's the number of Stones an A-Ranked disciple gets in three years! What sort of special item is worth this amount?'
’’Shixiong, I know that seventy Stones is definitely a fair trade, but like I said I will only exchange my Demon Pellet for Ore Essence Powders.’’
Fang Xing immediately felt a rising sense of anger inside him once the second voice was heard. He knew who this person was: it was none other than Hou Qing.
It may have been over half a year since the event at the Recruiting Ceremony had occurred, but it was as though that voice had been seared into his brain;Fang Xing was able to recognize it at once.
With a quick turn of his head, Fang Xing could see a male youth sitting on a large rock near the mountain cliff. The youth had a white headscarf to cover most of his facial features, and the rest of his body was tactically hidden by the shadows of the mountain underneath the moonlight. It may have been difficult for anyone else to recognize who he was beneath his concealment, but together with a single look at his brows and the sound of his voice, Fang Xing was certain of it;this had to be Hou Qing.
'Hah, must be my lucky day to bump into this bastard. I wonder what he's up to!' Fang Xing thought to himself, sitting himself down on a place nearby to carefully eavesdrop on the current conversation.